Sign This Petition To Stop The Construction Of A Highway Through Jim Corbett National Park

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Photo of Sign This Petition To Stop The Construction Of A Highway Through Jim Corbett National Park 1/1 by Disha Kapkoti
Image Credits: Vinamra Agrawal

The fight for environmental protection has once again reached the hill state of Uttarakhand and this time, the stakes are higher than ever before.

The government of Uttarakhand recently took a decision to construct the Kandi Highway right through the core region of Jim Corbett National Park. This distressing news came in soon after Trivendra Singh Rawat was sworn in as the chief minister of Uttarakhand in March this year. The proposed route aims to connect Garhwal and Kumaon, two divisions of Uttarakhand, and reduce travel time between the two by two hours.

But this decision taken by the newly-elected BJP government has faced severe criticism for overlooking the disastrous ramifications it will have on the wildlife of the national park.

The project will not only include felling of trees along the route but also disrupt the ecological balance of the core zone of Corbett where human impact is minimal. The impending threat is on 50 mammal species, 580 bird species and 25 reptile species whose natural course of sustenance is set to be disrupted.

In 2001, a project to carpet Kandi Road was halted after eight incidents of poaching elephants were exposed.

Image Credits: Curiouslog

Photo of Jim Corbett National Park, Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, India by Disha Kapkoti

Today the threat of human encroachment along the core belt of Corbett is even more severe with the growing construction around the Corbett region directed to lure tourists to the wildlife area. The impact can be assessed by using the Amangarh Forest in south side of Corbett as a case study where human encroachment has already begun.

In a state where tourism contributes to about 27% of its Rs 26,500 crore GSDP, the pristine environs have lured visitors for over a century. But the authorities that often quoted 'sustainability' as a key to the growth of tourism after the 2013 Uttarakhand floods are now suffering from short amnesia on the subject.

An online petition to stop the carpeting of the Kandi Road had recently surfaced on social media. The online petition, started by Dehradun-based Ashish Garg, was signed by more than 1,000 individual with 24 hours of its initiation and currently 24,366 people have shown their support for the cause.

Click here to view and sign the petition and join the movement.

Photo of Sign This Petition To Stop The Construction Of A Highway Through Jim Corbett National Park by Disha Kapkoti

The implications of concretisation and mushrooming of unchecked human settlement through the animal corridors along Corbett is a growing concern amongst protestors. According to the online petition,

"Wildlife officials have also warned of serious implications for wildlife animals, especially tigers, if the Kandi road which passes through Corbett Tiger Reserve is permitted for vehicles."

Upon reaching the target number of 25,000 signatures, the petition will be delivered to the chief minister of Uttarakhand and Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Shipping who have earlier acceded to the demand of Uttarakhand Government to construct the highway. If you find relevance in the cause, click here to read more about the issue at hand and sign the petition.

The petition has hitherto been signed by renowned Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda and director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Legendary BBC journalist Mark Tully has also expressed his support for the cause at Change.org saying, "Forests work for our good, conserving water, giving us clean air, and are home to the wild flora of irreplaceable medicinal importance. A tiny area of India is left with the forest of this quality. We should see it as a sacred duty to preserve it undisturbed. It is Bharat Mata. The road can easily go round it."

Share your own thoughts on the issue in the comments section below and spread the word by sharing the post. If you've explored Corbett National Park in the past, share your story on Tripoto and help other travellers gather more information about this wildlife hub that is facing a severe threat in the current times.

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